Report to the Midyear Meeting

Panama, Panama

March 6 – 9, 2015

This country continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the world to work as a journalist. Almost all attacks on news media and murders of journalists remain unpunished, a situation that has led the National Human Rights Commission (CONADEH) to declare that "impunity is among the most serious problems that make it difficult to achieve effective compliance with human rights."

It added that "the persistence of impunity in the country is generating a feeling of impotence and frustration among the Honduran people. Each time that a person connected to news media dies, in the first instance, the right to life is violated and the right to freedom of thought, of expression and of adequately informing are equally affected."

The IAPA has maintained its insistence that the government implement mechanisms that contribute to lessening the hostile environment which the press lives in, however the lack of political will is clear. A demonstration of that is that there has not yet been approved the bill for a law on protection of journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and other vulnerable groups which since 2012 has been sitting in Congress, is still a waiting approval

Rules and resolutions of those in power that limit access to public information are still in effect, thus violating principles of transparency and rendering of accounts which are demanded by the "Law for the Classification of Public Documents Concerning Security and National Defense."

Other relevant events in this period:

On December 15 Reynaldo Paz Mayes, owner of Canal 28 RTN television in the city of Comayagua, was shot and killed.

On February 5 journalist Carlos Fernández Umaña was shot several times and killed, which occurred after he finished reading the evening news on Canal 27 television in Roatán, Islas de la Bahía (Bay Islands).